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A) Meet Basic Water Service Levels


 A) Development Goal: Meet Basic Water Availability Service Levels

Rationale: Beneficiaries should have year-round access to adequate quantities of water within 1 km of their homes and with minimum wait times. Failure to meet these requirements jeopardizes health as water use for hygiene will fall significantly.

Target A-1: Year-Round Water Availability (3 Points)

In the hot season, water is needed more than ever to replenish sweat loss.  Intermittent streams and shallow dug wells go dry.

While water tables fall during the hot season, Lifewater wells should continue producing water at a rate of at least 2 gallons per minute over a 2 hour period of continuous pumping. If a well produces at least this amount of water, hand pumping to fill buckets should be able to continue without having to wait for the well to recharge.

Having a well with good yield is only part of the determination whether basic service levels are met. As explained below, the number of users and the distance/time to collect water need to be considered.

Application Story: Grinding Teeth & Rock

 

 Target A-2: Greater than 90% of Users within 1 Km (3 Points)

The Operational Target of more than 90% of the users being within 1 KM of the pump is a critical health measure because people use a lot less water if wells are located far from their home.

While water use is optimized if pumps are within 100m of peoples homes (intermediate service level), people's water use continues to meet the basic service level at pump distances up to 1,000 m or 30 minute total collection time. Beyond this, water consumption drops significantly, putting health at risk (Cairncross S, 1987, “The benefits of water supply”, In Pickford, J (ed) Developing World Water. Grosvenor Press, London).

Although health gains derived from increased access between 100m and 1,000m distances appear limited, there are other important gains in relation to increased time for activities such as child-care, food preparation, and educational opportunity for girls 

Application Story: The Girl Child

From 2004-2007, there was building awareness within Lifewater about the link between water hauling distance and girl’s performance in school. Several teachers spoke about girls being too tired to pay attention in school and having too little time before dark to do homework.

It was Hannah, a grade 10 Lifewater volunteer, who made the connection when they attended an African school and spoke to the girls who were coming late and tired to school. They talked about getting up well before dawn to walk to distant water holes. They told of attacks by animals and even rape on remote paths. They talked about having to do these chores again after school and having no light to do homework when they were done.

The most moving letter we received about girls and water came from a women’s self-help group in Kenya in 2007. Read the letter about the “Girl Child

 

Target A-3: 150-600 Users per Well

(Points: >600 = "0", 451-600 = "2", 301-450 = "3", 150-300 = 2, <150 = "1")

The World Health Organization has determined that a minimum of 7.5 litres/person/day safe water will meet the domestic requirements of most people. Domestic requirements include water used for drinking, cooking, food preparation and personal hygiene.

Based on this domestic requirement and assuming that it takes 2 minutes to rinse a bucket and pump it full of water, a village of 600 people will require the pump to be operated continuously for 4 hours in the morning and four hours in the late afternoon. These times drop to three hours in villages of 450 people and two hours in villages of 300 people:

Village Size

Variable Description

600

450

300

 # people

2.5

2.5

2.5

 # people's daily need served from one bucket

 

 

 

19

 Litres in a 5 gallon pail

 

 

 

7.5

 Litres/person/day

120

90

60

 Trips each morning & evening

2

2

2

 Minutes to wash & fill a bucket

4.0

3.0

2.0

# hours pumping each morning & evening

 

Iterative Approach

As part of the United Nations “Millennium Development Agenda”, there was discussion of using a target of 300 people per handpump. However, this was never formalized as a program target and when the program ended in 2015, there were still 663 million people without access to an improved drinking water source!

In 2015, the United Nations presented “Agenda 2030” which includes the ambitious Target 6.1 – “By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all”. The concept of “equitable access” is explained as users having access to safe drinking water within 100m of their homes.

Lifewater believes that it is completely unrealistic to expect that this target is achievable in these time frames. However, one of the key notes is that the goals should be implemented progressively.

In response, Lifewater Canada adopted an iterative approach, with priority until 2022 being on providing access to safe drinking water across its service areas.

After this has been achieved, subsequent work will go back to these communities and provide additional water systems where communities have proven their commitment to project maintenance and where there are more than 450 users per water system.

Affordability

The required pump operation times continue to decrease as village size drops. This means that smaller villagers will have less pump congestion issues and low pump usage will mean less pump wear ‘n tear. But as village size decreases, villagers need to contribute more and more towards the initial well project and its annual maintenance. As an extreme example, in a village of 45 families raising $450 towards a new well, each family needs to contribute $10… while if a village of 3 families is trying to get a well, they would have to contribute an unaffordable $150 each!

The same issue applies to annual pump maintenance costs. That is why extra assessment is required when contemplating drilling in small villages of less than 150 people. There is no point spending a large sum of money drilling a well if they can not afford to maintain it over time.

Application Story: You Don’t Roast a Dog Quickly

 

Target A-4: Less than 5 minutes wait time at a Pump (1 point)

As the number of people relying on the same pump increases, so do potential wait times at a pump. But equally important are user schedules. Lifewater has observed huge lines of people waiting for water in villages where everyone has to report for work at the nearby rubber plantation at 9 AM, at military barracks where all the soldiers have to report for duty at 7 AM, or at boarding schools where classes start at 8 AM.

The main point for having this development target is that it is important to understand local priorities and pressures. There is no single “correct” number for how many beneficiaries should be supplied by each handpump.

Application Story: The Bucket Tree

 


Every $1 you give provides a child with safe water for a year!


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Thunder Bay, ON P7E 5L1
Canada

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+1 807-622-4848
Email:
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